Photographer Anne de Carbuccia shooting the Women’s Empowerment Shrine.
Photographer Anne de Carbuccia shooting the Women’s Empowerment Shrine.
Photo: One Planet One Future

Women’s History Month is here, and with it, an opportunity to recognize the ways climate change makes the lives of women, particularly young girls, much more difficult. That’s the purpose behind a new photo exhibit by French-American environmental artist Anne de Carbuccia.

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In display at the One Planet One Future Gallery in New York City starting Thursday, the photo exhibit is a one-photo show of flowers, glass bell jars, and other donated knickknacks—all in symbolic homage to women and their role in nature. “The fact I use flowers to represent women is a way to speak directly and indirectly of nature and the role of women in nature,” de Carbuccia told Earther.

The Women’s Empowerment Shrine in New York City.
The Women’s Empowerment Shrine in New York City.
Photo: Anne de Carbuccia
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The photo follows her signature TimeShrine method of fine art photography where she sets up a shrine on site. In the past, these places have included Standing Rock, the Amazon Rainforest, and Lake Powell, her first shrine in 2013. Her Antarctica photo series really set the tone, however, for the rest of her work. “I came back and had a series. I had a story,” she said. “And I haven’t stopped since.”

Areang 1. This tiger, named Areang, was saved from the tiger trade, which is pushing its species to extinction, but Areang was raised wild in a sanctuary in Cambodia.
Areang 1. This tiger, named Areang, was saved from the tiger trade, which is pushing its species to extinction, but Areang was raised wild in a sanctuary in Cambodia.
Photo: Anne de Carbuccia
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The Women’s Empowerment Shrine, as it’s called, was the hardest shrine she’s had to shoot so far. Taken outside the United Nations Headquarters in New York City last year in March, de Carbuccia remembers how windy that day was. The items kept blowing away: the hourglass, the vanity, the sculpted clitoris, the handcuffs, the red stiletto, and the flowers—which included an open lotus flower, the perfect red rose, dark orchids, and caged tulips that are then seen breaking free and growing wild.

Antarctic and Southern Elephant Seal Skulls. Scientists at the Ukrainian Research Center in Antarctica lent barnacles, which protect whales by calling their backs and bellies home.
Antarctic and Southern Elephant Seal Skulls. Scientists at the Ukrainian Research Center in Antarctica lent barnacles, which protect whales by calling their backs and bellies home.
Photo: Anne de Carbuccia
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“I work with beauty and art, and I like to think that my work is a way of transmitting,” she said.

De Carbuccia hopes that the evolving landscape of flowers tell the story of how the women’s empowerment movement is changing and evolving, especially as society becomes more aware of the dangers of climate change. Women face great health risks from climate change as it threatens water systems and decreases food supplies, as noted by the United Nations Women, which partnered with de Carbuccia on this project along with the WomenOne foundation.

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Standing Rock 1. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe helped put together this shrine during the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
Standing Rock 1. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe helped put together this shrine during the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
Photo: Anne de Carbuccia

“My message is that everything is interlinked,” de Carbuccia told Earther. “I am speaking about the glaciers that are melting and talking about tigers that are disappearing, but I’m also showing that the burning forests in Siberia are linked to everything else. With women’s issues or Standing Rock or war or refugees, I’m always interlinking them to show that, in a way, it’s all interconnected.”

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Liwa, Dusk. The desert of Abu Dhabi serving as a symbol for the desertification that’s happening elsewhere around the world.
Liwa, Dusk. The desert of Abu Dhabi serving as a symbol for the desertification that’s happening elsewhere around the world.
Photo: Anne de Carbuccia

This latest exhibit follows the mission of One Planet One Future, de Carbuccia’s effort to use her photography to talk about climate change and the way our changing planet is threatening life—including humans—on this planet. The permanent exhibitions are in New York and Milan, but they take place all over the world, too.

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For those who want to catch the Women’s Empowerment Shrine in person, it’ll be in New York City at least through March.

Constellation 1. This photo captures the threatened starfish habitats.
Constellation 1. This photo captures the threatened starfish habitats.
Photo: Anne de Carbuccia
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Pollution Shrine. The pollution in Beijing that day was so bad that de Carbuccia had to wear a mask.
Pollution Shrine. The pollution in Beijing that day was so bad that de Carbuccia had to wear a mask.
Photo: Anne de Carbuccia

Yessenia Funes is a senior staff writer with Earther. She loves all things environmental justice and dreams of writing children's books.

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